A Journey to the Marathon - A Defining Moment

David Schnurman | October 27, 2011

Kyle and I had an 18 mile run this past Sunday. It was actually a pretty cool route that I mapped out. We went through downtown Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge up to Delancy street and then made a right towards the Williamsburg Bridge and ran straight to the river. We ran up the FDR drive on the river until 34th street. And then we ran up to the 59th Street bridge.

Around the 9 mile mark at 42nd Street is where it happened. It was the same thing that happened to me on the Thursday before but the difference was I was only running a total of 9 miles. All of my sudden my hamstring and gluts got so tight I could barely move my legs. I stopped and stretched a few times but it was not getting much better.  We stopped at a bodega and bought Gatorade, banana, and Advil. I took all three. At that point we decide to walk about 10 blocks to the the bridge.

In my head I was saying to myself I have trained a lot. I do not want to injure myself. 9 miles is good. I want to set up this upcoming week of 39 miles with success. So I should stop. Call it a day. Then, I started thinking instead of taking the 59th street bridge and going into Queens which is a harder route, I should just go back the way we came. Kyle was saying to me I can do it. I agreed, but thought I might be setting myself up for failure by trying to run uphill on the bridge with my legs in the condition they were in. All of a sudden he said, "ok then lets just go back the way we came."

As soon as he said that it was like a switch flipped in my head. I said to him, "no I am running up the bridge." I told him I am going to finish our 18 mile route through Queens no matter how long it takes. I thought back to the Arnold Schwarzenegger video where he asked the guy why he is lifting weights. The guy said, "I think, maybe...." and Arnold said to sit back down because with that mind set he will be a loser. He said he there is NO MAYBE... you have to get up and say, "I want be a champion and I will do whatever it takes to be a champion."

So for the next 9 miles I pushed through it. I stopped every 2 miles or so to stretch and keep my muscles loose. I ran through places of Queens and Brooklyn I never saw before. I had a team mate and I could not quit on him. I pushed through pain and tightness that the old me would have stopped many times over. We took our energy gels and just kept going through.

The best part was the last two miles I got an energy surge and we increased our speed and kept it going. We did something that will sound sort of nerdy but it helped immensely. We kept quoting Arnold's video and the How Bad do you Want Success motivational video. We were screaming them to each other as others were looking at us as we ran by them.

This literally went on the entire two last miles. As I finished I got two feelings. One I got a sense on how it would feel at the end of the marathon. You put your all in and you reach the goal.  Second, if there is a set back like this on the day of the marathon I will be able to finish it. It might take me a bit longer but I will finish no matter what. And of course always bring Advil!  Lastly, I learned that I will be able to achieve anything I want as long as I think like a champion which leads to the right mindset to see it through.

See "A Journey to the Marathon" (Part 1)
See "A Journey to the Marathon - On Cloud 9" (Part 3)

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